Oct
17
2011
Simpson Overtakes Donald Atop the Money List
By Stephanie Wei under Fall Series

Keeping the eye on the money (and not a points system no one understands)

Webb Simpson missed a short putt to lose in a playoff against Ben Crane on Sunday at The McGladrey Classic, but he did earn a nice consolation prize — $432,000 for his second-place finish to overtake Luke Donald as No. 1 on the PGA Tour money list by $363,029.

Donald is trying to become the first player to win the Money Title on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour, but Simpson has made it much more difficult for him. Last Friday Donald announced his last-minute entry into this week’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Disney in response to Simpson’s challenge.

“Finishing second is going to make it a lot harder for Luke,” said Simpson in his presser Sunday. “But I’m sure he’s going to play well.  He’s played well most every week this year.  I still wouldn’t be surprised if I have a little work to do next week.”

Only once since 1990 has the leader of the money list been overtaken in the final official week of the season. In 1996 Tom Lehman entered the week with $1,240,159 and won The Tour Championship to collect $540,000 for a season total of $1,780,159, passing Phil Mickelson who had entered the week of Tour Championship with $1,620,99 and finished 12th to make $76,800 for a season total of $1,697,799.

From what I understand, Donald has to finish no worse than tied for second to retake the lead. Of course, he needs a little help from Simpson, too.

“I’m sure (Luke’s) rested and ready,” said Webb. “It would be nice to run away with it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s going to be pretty close. Winning would take care of a lot, I think.”

I wish the gap between Luke and Webb were a little closer than $363,029, but Luke is the No. 1 ranked player in the world for a reason — he’s the most consistent. Then again, Webb has been the hottest player on Tour in the last few months. Hey, at least this gives us something to talk about in this week’s fourth and final Fall Series event of the year.

(AP Photo/Stephen Morton)